Sunday, June 5, 2011

To Maternity...and Beyond!!!

Did you read that in Buzz Lightyear's Voice?
Hope so. :)

and I told you not to get rid of the rest of that tank top.  
I'm about to show you why.  

We are going to make an adorable wardrobe workhorse.  

We are going to take this skirt: 

And make it do all of this:

                           It's an Anytime-Skirt                                that jumps right on into Maternity.

And then becomes a dress ---
Loose and Beachy

And we can do another dress ---
Longer and leaner this time.  
(J's like, "How much longer do we have to do this?")  

And then we can do yet another dress ---
Shorter more draped now.  

And why not --- 
Let's wear it as a maternity dress too!  

Did you catch all that?  
Six Options from one skirt!  

Let me show you what I did.  
I've had this old skirt laying around forever.  
(How it never got donated I don't know; it was in the donation bag dozens of times.  I kept on pulling it out, just proving this project was fated to be.)  

Its elastic had gone bad and didn't work any more.  
But I didn't want to just shove some new elastic into it.  
I wanted to give it a new lease on life.  

To be clear, I'm a little obsessed with clothing that can make it through ALL the size ranges I can possibly muster up, because I've never gone through so many sizes in my life as I have in the past 2 years.  And so the less I have to pack away in Rubbermaid bins, just to pull back out in the upcoming years, the better!
So when I went to make over this skirt, that's what I was thinking.

I'm not just going to show you how to make a maternity skirt,
I'm going to show you how to make a piece that really earns it keep.  

And that left over piece of tank top is just what we need.  

This tank top was 95% cotton 5% spandex. making it really stretchy --- like maternity tank stretchy.  So it's perfect for this.  You want stretchy!  
(It is actually a tank from Express -- of course, you know me, I found it at the thrift for $2.50.)  

To begin, I tried on the skirt, held it at the length I wanted it to hit my ankles, 
and marked it where a very low rise pant would hit 
(in essence, where maternity pants go from jean to stretchything).  
Took it off, and cut it straight across where I marked it.  

Now to attach the band (aka, bottom of the tank) to it.  
You want the hem of the tank to be right-side-out when the band is folded over the skirt.  

So place it on like that.  

Now we need to pin it.  
The band will be tighter than the skirt (this is good).  So the way we pin it will be important in order to line up the two different-sized pieces.  

  • Start by lining up one side seam of the skirt to one side seam of the band and pin it.  
  • Do the same to the other side seam.  
  • Now find the middle of the front side of the band, halfway between the side seams, and mark it with a pin.  
  • Next find the middle of one side of the skirt and pin that spot to the middle of the band that you just found.  You might notice that the tank has to stretch a bit to make this work but that's okay, that's what it is supposed to do (so that the stretchy part holds the skirt up).  
  • Take this same approach to pin one more spot, half way between the front and the side pins (do this to both sides).  You should have 5 pins across the front of the skirt.  
  • Do that whole process again to the back side of the skirt.  

Now turn the whole thing inside-out.  

Time to sew.  
I'll be using my serger.  
(This really will look best if done with a serger, but you can use a regular sewing machine with a needle made for knits.)  

You can see above that since the band is tighter than the skirt, the fabric bunches up.  

You will need to pull it taught, holding it at each pin, as you go around.  
(Remember to take the pin out before you serge over it.)  

Once you go all the way around, you are done!  

This is the inside: 

This is the outside: 

Most of the time it will probably be worn with the band flipped down over it like this: 

(You can wear it pulled up high as a maternity skirt.  
But you can also keep it folded down, under your belly, though your pregnancy --- it's your call.)  

Now one of the first things my husband asked me was, "Is it tight enough up top when you wear it as a dress?"  

It is a little loose.  But I had a solution all made up already.
I took a thin piece of elastic and pulled it to where it was snug but comfortable above my bust, cut it, and sewed it closed into a circle.  

Then I just slide it on over the dress and flip the band over it.  
Now you know it's not going anywhere.  

You can also use this band on your waist if you feel like the skirt is too lose when not pregnant.  
(But I felt plenty secure that the skirt would stay on my hips without it.)  

Okay, now to review.
Sew this and you get:

4 Anytime Looks

And 2 Maternity Looks



  1. I just found your blog tonight and have now spent like 2 hours on it. (Bad mom moment.) I am in love with this patten for a multi-way to wear dress/skirt. I'm sold. I've got a few skirts that I might transfer now! Love you blog already!

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